University of New Orleans engineering students earned first-place at the 2021 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Region 5 student competition held virtually on April 10. The team’s win came in the poster contest for a senior design project they call MOSS, the Modular Organics Sustenance System.
The purpose of the MOSS system is to automate the lighting and watering schedules for indoor household plants.
The team, led by Michael Ceraso, included John McGraw, Anne Kroll and Miles Borcherdt. UNO electrical engineering professor Parviz Rastgoufard advised the team, who are students in his electrical and computer engineering senior design II class.
“Winning the first-place prize in the IEEE Region 5 competition among participants from states of Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana is indeed a great achievement,” Rastgoufard said.
According to the team, the MOSS design is unique because of its modularity and programmability.
With modularity, MOSS is able to expand. Customers can add more plants, pumps and lights to the system with the additional channels available on the printed circuit board.
With programmability, MOSS gets smarter. By pairing the device with a phone application, software updates can be sent over the air that make the watering and lighting schedule smarter over time and delivers data to inform the software updates.
The first-place prize included $800, individual certificates and an inscribed plaque for the University of New Orleans.
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